WEEK IN WOMEN: Woman-directed films win big at Sundance 2021 – Brandy McDonnell reports

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As previously reported, Sundance achieved gender parity this year: Across 139 films and projects, 50%, or 69, were directed by one or more women; 4%, or six, were directed by one or more non-binary individuals; 50%, or 70, were directed by one or more artists of color; and 15%, or 21, by one or more people who identify as LGBTQ+.

Director and screenwriter Siân Heder’s family drama Coda won four awards in the U.S. Dramatic Competition category: the grand jury prize, the directing prize, the audience award and a special jury prize for best ensemble.

The film centers on Ruby (Emilia Jones), a teenager who is a Child of Deaf Adults, or CODA, and the only hearing person in her deaf family. When the family’s fishing business is threatened, Ruby finds herself torn between pursuing her love of music and her fear of abandoning her parents.

Coda is the first film in the history of the Sundance Film Festival to earn all three U.S. Dramatic top prizes. Continue reading on THE WEEK IN WOMEN.

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Brandy McDonnell

Brandy McDonnell writes features and reviews movies, music, events and the arts for The Oklahoman, Oklahoma's statewide newspaper, and NewsOK.com, the state's largest news Web site. Raised on a farm near Lindsay, Okla., she started her journalism career in seventh grade, when she was elected reporter for her school's 4-H Club. Taking her duties seriously, she began submitting stories to The Lindsay News, and worked for the local weekly through high school. She attended Oklahoma State University, where she worked for The Daily O'Collegian and earned her journalism degree with honors. She worked for three years at small Oklahoma dailies The Edmond Sun and Shawnee News-Star. In 2002, she joined The Oklahoman as a features reporter, writing about movies, the arts, events, families and nonprofits. She moved to The Oklahoman's entertainment desk in 2007. In 2004, she won a prestigious Journalism Fellowship in Child & Family Policy from the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Along with her membership in AWFJ, she also is a founding member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle. Brandy writes The Week In Women blog for AWFJ.org.